The Saddleback baseball team started out the first game of its double header against Rio Hondo in disappointing fashion Saturday.
The Gauchos fell victim to three Roadrunner unearned runs in the top of the ninth to transform their 5-3 lead into a 7-5 loss.The game started out sloppy, and the trend only continued in the later innings for Saddleback.
Gaucho starting pitcher James Condon started off the game by walking the first two batters , which was then followed by an error, and then another base on balls by hitting the batter. Condon pitched 6.2 innings, with four Strikeouts, giving up two earned runs, and dishing out four walks.
Saddleback struck back in the forth inning as right fielder Chad Richardson had a two run homerun that put Saddleback down by only a single run.
The Gauchos offense surged once again in the eighth inning, scoring three runs. Right fielder Joshua Leite helped his team out by hitting a line drive double that brought in two runs, as another scored on a passed ball.
Saddleback had a two-run cushion going into the ninth inning. The Gauchos played sloppy baseball when it meant the most. The team allowed four runs in the ninth inning. Saddleback’s chance at ending the game on a rundown resulted in an error and a run.
After Condon was taken out of the game, Drew Jacobson was brought in. Jacobson allowed no hits and no runs in 1.1 inning pitched, but was pulled for Robert Ross.
Coach Jack Hodges refused comment when asked if he had second thoughts on keeping closer Ross in the game after allowing to load the bases twice non-consecutively.
In the teams’ second meeting of the day, the Gauchos’ ill-fate remained, as a late-game comeback fell short in the 3-2 loss.
Saddleback will participate in the Orange Empire Conference mini-tournament Thursday at 2 p.m.